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viernes, 23 de marzo de 2018

Former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue files lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly

The latest chapter in former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s meteoric fall from grace includes a defamation lawsuit from one of his alleged harassment victims.

Laurie Dhue, who worked with the disgraced host as a Fox News anchor from 2000 to 2008, has filed a defamation suit against O’Reilly, claiming that statements he made have tarnished her reputation and depicted her as a liar.

“Smear campaign”

Dhue filed the suit on Thursday in a Manhattan federal court, asserting that O’Reilly engaged in a “smear campaign” aimed at discrediting the women who previously accused him of sexual misconduct. She is one of at least five women to reach harassment settlements against O’Reilly, totaling $45 million.

O’Reilly’s flourishing career was brought to a crashing halt last year after The New York Times published the sordid details of his legal battles with the victims of his alleged abuse. After his behavior was exposed, the syndicated journalist went to painstaking lengths to dispute the allegations against him, arguing that he “never mistreated anyone” before identifying himself as the victim of a “political and financial hit job.”

Dhue’s lawyers, however, insist that these statements destroyed their client’s reputation. They wrote in a statement:

As part of his desperate campaign to clear his name, O’Reilly published false statements about Dhue — as well as the other women — calling her a liar, swearing that her allegations were fabricated in an effort to obtain a settlement, falsely asserting that her purported claims against O’Reilly were politically motivated and lying by saying that he only paid settlements to avoid having his family go through litigation, not because he had engaged in the claimed sexual misconduct.

The new lawsuit claims that Dhue relies upon her reputation as a truthful and trustworthy person in her former career as a journalist and in her present work as an addiction and recovery advocate. However, O’Reilly’s lawyer, Frederic S. Newman, disputed Ms. Dhue’s account in a public statement, insisting that the lawsuit “has absolutely no merit.”

He said:

Mr. O’Reilly has never mentioned Dhue, and any attention she has received has been the result of her own actions.Mr. O’Reilly will defend himself in court fully and aggressively against all unfounded, opportunistic claims, and he will seek all appropriate legal remedies as well.

Fall from grace

Dhue’s lawsuit is the fourth against O’Reilly filed by the alleged victims of his sexual misconduct and claiming that his statements following the Times report constitute defamation. Three other women filed a defamation suit against the reporter in December, and last week, O’Reilly filed a motion to dismiss this litigation, arguing that the lawsuit is “frivolous and wholly unsupported in law or fact” and that none of his statements would expose the women to “public shame or ridicule.”

Dhue’s suit seeks unspecified damages from O’Reilly. She previously received $1 million from her co-worker for harassment — but not of a sexual nature — following a settlement.

Dhue also claimed that Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes played a part in that harassment.

In a desperate attempt to salvage his reputation, and with his career on life support, O’Reilly further impugned his own character by attacking his victims. He paid for this ill-advised behavior with his career, but it appears the damage is by no means done.

In the end, justice will have its way.